Meet the 2016 Heroes at Home Military Spouse of the Year

(Photo courtesy of Kristen Joyal / WAVY)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – While we often watch husbands and wives celebrate a homecoming, 10 On Your Side continued the tradition of acknowledging sacrifices made on the homefront.

WAVY had the honor of hosting the 12th annual Heroes at Home Military Spouse Awards on Thursday. This year’s Military Spouse of the Year hails from Iceland, where she met her husband while he was stationed there.

“Having an event like that is truly phenomenal,”  beamed Thorunn Bitterman. “I’m really appreciative.”

Photos: 12th Annual Heroes at Home Military Spouse Awards

I once again had the privilege of emceeing this year’s event, which was founded by the Flagship and Military Newspapers of Virginia 12 years ago. Bitterman’s husband, Elvin, is a chief electronic technician in the Navy, and is stationed at St. Jiliens Creek in Chesapeake.

Bitterman has lived overseas during the first eight years of their 13-year marriage.

She looked lovingly at her husband when asked about daily challenges she faces as a military spouse.

“I think the biggest challenges have been you and I coming up with a plan to work together. But at the same time that has brought us closer together as a family. The greatest challenge has also been the greatest reward,” Bitterman said.

A mother of three, she devotes much of her time to the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society in Norfolk, where she’s put in some 1100 hours to date. It’s part of community life of being a military spouse.

“I think a lot of civilians do always fully understand because they haven’t lived through it. But I think the support we get from other military families truly makes up for it because we are truly are a community,” Bitterman said. “We’re always there for each other, and that’s been my favorite part of being a military spouse.”

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